The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 21, 2013

Area crop conditions range from excellent to very poor

For the Star Beacon

— Hello, Ashtabula County!

Finally some sunny days! Last week’s rain just piled on the misery for many of our local crop farmers.

As I travel across the region the crop conditions range from excellent to very poor.

Many areas have good crops but in areas that at are poorly drained corn and beans are yellow and stunted. This is due primarily to lack of oxygen in saturated soils.

During the last six weeks, some of those areas received over 20 inches of rain. Producers in some cases have been unable to apply nitrogen on corn and are also facing late season weed control.

Thousands of acres of hay needs baled.  We need a nice stretch of weather for the remainder of July to turn things around. Only time will tell.

Speaking of water...

OSU Extension and the Ashtabula County Soil & Water Conservation District will be hosting a Summer Pond Clinic on Wednesday, July 24 at the Friedstrom Farm in Plymouth Township from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

This farm is located off of Freedom Lane east of the Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge.

During this clinic, participants will learn about managing their ponds from area pond experts

Topics which will be discussed include nuisance wildlife management, fish management, managing pond weeds, and the installation and maintenance of dry hydrants.

Time will also be allotted for questions from attendees.

Speakers for this event include: Nathan Paskey and Jim Welker from the Ashtabula County Soil and Water Conservation District; Jason Hadsell and Curt Wagner from the Division of Wildlife; and yours truly, David Marrison from OSU Extension.

There is no charge for attendance; however reservations are requested so that adequate program materials can be made.

Call the Ashtabula County Soil & Water Conservation District at 576-4946 or OSU Extension at 576-9008 to reserve your spot.

When you reserve your spot a detail program flyer will be mailed or emailed so participants will have proper directions to the pond clinic. This is especially important since State Road is closed east of Route 11.

This clinic will be held outdoors. Please dress for the weather as it will be held rain or shine. And given this year, you better plan for rain and bring some bug spray along!

Participants are encouraged to bring a lawn chairs or a blanket.  Ashtabula County Twilight Pond Clinics are a real institution!

These pond clinics are always fun and informative.

I hope to see you there!

A small steering committee met earlier today to discuss starting a Woodlands Interest group. Similar groups have been started in other areas of Ohio will much success.

We are looking at providing education programs for owners of woodlands.

These programs could include tours of local successful managed woodlots and workshops on topics of local interest like timber stand improvement, tree planting, how to become an Ohio Tree farm, taxes and woodlots, and controlling invasive weeds.

If you are interested in these types of programs, contact our office at 576-9008 or by email at and we will add you to our mailing list for these programs.

To close today’s column I would like to share a quote from Charles Dudley Warner who stated, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Have a good and safe day!